Actor Masi Oka becomes executive producer for The Defenders

Masi OkaStop me if this sounds familiar: A group of people who play an massive multiplayer online role-playing game (or MMORPG, pronounced “meh-mor-puh-guh”) who know each other in the virtual world but don’t know each other in real life have to team up in the real world to solve a problem.

That’s the logline for the new movie project called The Defenders by “Heroes” actor Masi Oka, who conceived and developed it while playing World of Warcraft. Quoth he in the Hollywood Reporter article:

“You can be whoever you want to be,” [Oka] said. “The question came to me: What if you had to live up to the person you created in the virtual world?”

The project is going to be produced at Dreamworks by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who worked together on the recent Transformers movies and several episodes of “Alias”), D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye, the in-production Y: The Last Man) is in negotiations to direct, and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, with Denzel Washington) will be writing the script.

But again, if this project sounds familiar to you, it should because that’s the basic premise behind popular web sitcom “The Guild,” written by actress Felicia Day who conceived of the project when she was playing WOW for two years between gigs.

The idea of teen gamers meeting in real life is also a major plot point for “Kyle + Rosemary,” a part machinima-part cel-animated cartoon created by Jun Falkenstein which aired on Nickelodeon last year.

And who could forget the “South Park” episode “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” which actually won an Emmy in 2007?

Each of these other comedic projects are awesome, and while it does sound like Oka’s project will be totally different from these two due to his budget being larger and his producers being more connected, I can’t help but feel a little like an indie music lover who wants her bands to get a little more recognition.

Anyway, you can watch episodes of “The Guild” on the website above, Comedy Central re-runs that episode now and then, and here’s “Kyle + Rosemary”:


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Posted on June 8, 2009 at 06:24 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News

3 Responses

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  1. Written by Anywho42
    on 2009-06-09 at 00:28
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    Be fair. It was the premise for .Hack years before any of those other shows :P

  2. Written by Trisha Lynn
    on 2009-06-09 at 06:14
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    Gyah, totally forgot about .hack (which came out in 2002).

    I wonder how far back the idea goes. Alas, the TV Tropes Wiki page for “The Guild” doesn’t say, and I’m going to have to stop there before I end up spending the rest of the morning there.

  3. Written by Anywho42
    on 2009-06-09 at 12:28
    Permalink

    I have no idea. I don’t think the first time someone sat down to play an RPG and said “Hey, why don’t we play a game about people who are playing a game?” was documented.

    I just chalk it up to how increasingly difficult it is to come up with an idea nobody has had before.

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